Carmichael: Ministers must explain themselves over Jagtar Singh Johal allegations

The BBC reports that UK intelligence services have been accused of tipping off Indian authorities about a British national, leading to his abduction and alleged torture. Jagtar Singh Johal was detained on a visit to India in 2017 and says that he has been tortured. But how did the Indian authorities catch up with him?

The BBC cites a claim from human rights organisation Reprieve that the information may have come from UK intelligence:

Reprieve says it has matched several details relating to his case to a specific claim of mistreatment documented in a report by the watchdog that oversees the intelligence agencies.

“In the course of an investigation”, says the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) report, “MI5 passed intelligence to a liaison partner via the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

“The subject of the intelligence was arrested by the liaison partner in their country. The individual told the British Consular Official that he had been tortured.”

Mr Johal is not named in the report, but Reprieve’s investigators are adamant the facts match his case due to the dates concerned, the lobbying by British prime ministers and supporting evidence detailed in the Indian press.

Human rights are hardwired into the DNA of liberals, so as you would expect, Alistair Carmichael, our Home Affairs spokesperson, has demanded that ministers explain themselves:

“These allegations are extremely serious and very alarming. No one – especially not a British citizen – should ever face torture or execution as a result of information shared by the UK’s intelligence services.
“Government Ministers must urgently explain whether they authorised this intelligence-sharing and if so why. This is sadly not the first case like this we have seen, but it must be the last.
“The UK has been a force for good in the world, working to end the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We must not let this Government backslide on that commitment.”

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Steve Trevethan 23rd Aug '22 - 1:06pm

    If Human Rights are hardwired into the DNA of liberals, why are we not supporting Mr Assange?

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